Review by Booklist Review
Readers will happily return to the land of magic, fire, and djinn politics created in Chakraborty's best-selling Daevabad Trilogy in this short-story collection that takes place before, after, and during the three novels. The entries appear in chronological order, along with brief introductions that help orient their places within the greater epic fantasy. According to Chakraborty's introduction, some of these stories include repurposed scenes from earlier drafts of her books. Most, however, focus on secondary characters who didn't get their own chapters in the main trilogy. Readers will especially appreciate the expansion of Jamshid and Muntadhir's romance, since their relationship was hidden from other characters for the bulk of the books, and this is our first peek at their dynamic when alone. Chakraborty re-immerses the reader in her fascinating world with her signature prose, which brims with its own sort of magic, and concludes with an uplifting alternative epilogue to the trilogy. Those who felt bittersweet when the trilogy ended will find much to explore and enjoy here.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Chakraborty returns to the world of her beloved Daevabad trilogy (first visited in The City of Brass) with 15 shorts, many of them cut scenes from the novels, that enrich the worldbuilding and provide extra insight into the characters. The myriad perspectives here (each story is named after the POV character) allow readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of characters' psyches and motivations. In "Manizheh," the cruel oppression of the djinn king Ghassan sparks a desire for vengeance in the eponymous goddess. The would-be queen in "Hatset" has a surprisingly frank discussion with Ghassan to set clear expectations before their marriage. In "Ali," Prince Alizayd rescues a missing girl at the bottom of a river and discovers a kingdom frozen in time where he must use his newfound powers to fight a demon's army. Two scouts of the Royal Guard encounter a nightmare of legend in the rural countryside in "The Scout." Perhaps most exciting for fans will be "An Alternative Epilogue to The Empire of Gold," which offers a different end to the series as a whole. Though this collection should not be anyone's introduction to this world, it will be a treat for series devotees. Agent: Jennifer Azantian, Azantian Literary. (Oct.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
When Chakraborty's 18th-century Cairo-set "Daevabad Trilogy" ended, fans were left with questions about how Nahri, Ali, Dara, and the others all came together and then travelled on through their journeys. These 15 stories, set before, during, and after the events of the trilogy, will give readers some answers as the beauty and conflict of the magical world of these powerful beings are revived once again. Chakraborty shows that her secondary characters have full lives, following Manizheh's path to rebellion, Dara's younger years in an ancient Daevabad, and Jamshid's route to Daevabad and Muntadhir, and to some surprising adventures following The Empire of Gold. Crafted from side quests, cut scenes, and chapters from the original books, these new perspectives culminate with an alternative epilogue featuring Nahri and Ali. Ordered chronologically, each of the stories includes a short introduction that situates its action in the timeline of the original trilogy. VERDICT This story compilation is a must-have in library collections that own Chakraborty's Hugo-nominated trilogy, as it showcases her amazing characters and lush world one more time.--Kristi Chadwick
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